It’s been a long, rocky road, and despite all your last-ditch efforts to make it work, the marriage just isn’t functioning. You and your partner have decided to finally bite the bullet and get divorced. *cue big sigh*
We often get this question when parents are going through divorce or separation: “how much should we/I tell the kids?”
As with most sticky situations, this varies by child, by family, and by circumstances. I do have some general guidelines for you to consider:
Although you should talk about these things, save these topics for your best friend, your therapist, your mom, your clergy. Their job is to support you. Your job is to support your kids.
Your kids are intelligent, resourceful creatures. They will survive this. They will learn to be adaptable and flexible. After the dust settles, they will even see that they have the strength to navigate really difficult situations. However, they will have much less anxiety when their parents are present with them in their pain, and patient when they have questions or anxieties.
Lots of kids can get through these transitions with just their normal support system rallying to assist them. Some kids need a bit more help.
A few situations in which you should consider counseling for your kids during a big transition like divorce:
Think you might need a little help navigating a pending divorce? We can help!
About the author:
Katie Zuverink is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) living in Grand Rapids, MI. She specializes in trauma work with kids and parents, and she especially loves coaching adults through difficult parenting dynamics. She also loves working with women’s issues (anxiety, depression, balancing the life of being a woman in today’s world). For more on Katie, read her full bio.